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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Recipes, Recipes, Recipes!

Whew!  A week away did me a world of good.  I am not sure how I am going to wake up before 5 a.m. come Monday morning, but I'll deal with that when the time comes.  For now, just happy to still technically be on vacation.  Also, happy to have the fresh Fall produce we picked up at the farm stand on the way home yesterday.  Plus we bought a big basket of apples last week.  I definitely see fresh applesauce in our future!

So, just getting back from vacation, I have a lot to do!  Better get right to the recipes....  NOTE - These are just the entrees, as you can see.  I will, of course, complement with vegetables!

Burgers on the grill - okay, had to start out with something simple!  We use Trader Joe's whole wheat hamburger buns, but you can wrap them in big lettuce leaves if you prefer.

Pizza - Trader Joe's gets lots of love at our house.  They have a fresh whole wheat pizza dough that we always keep on hand.  We both work long hours with long commutes, so quick and easy is important, but it still has to be clean!

Italian chicken - just chicken breasts rubbed with oil and then seasoned and just grill it!  Serving this with some of that great squash we picked up.

Black Bean Burritos - I haven't actually tried this recipe but I do like black bean burgers and this sounds pretty close so think it's a win.  And it includes sweet potatoes, which I absolutely love!

Chicken salad - we will use leftover chicken, chop it up, add mayo, mustard, chopped pecans, and raisins to make a fabulous chicken salad.  You can pretty much add what you want to get the taste you love.

Prosciutto-wrapped Beef Cubes - OMG... I just love this stuff.  I have posted it before, and will continue to post it.  Ab-Fab!!!  And not as complicated as it looks.

Tortilla Soup - After a long week at work, this is super easy, and super tasty, just what the doctor ordered.  This is a very versatile recipe that you can adjust to taste with your favorite flavors.  We usually add a can of black beans and/or some leftover chicken.

I also plan to make Paleo Cinnamon RollsOatmeal Raisin Cookies (uh oh!  Had to strike these out.  I just realized the recipe has brown sugar in it... so very sad!  But I will try to find a new recipe to replace this one...) and Paleo Pumpkin Cakes, but we all know about plans, don't we?!  But I will try!

Keep it clean!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

VACATION... but still eating clean!

First, please allow me to recognize all those who died, were injured, or otherwise affected by the rampage at the Washington Navy Yard this week.  I have worked there in the past, not at building 197, but very nearby, and worked on some projects with some folks from there, and also am friends with some employees at NAVSEA.  I do not know anyone personally that was killed or injured, but nevertheless, I have thought about them all every day this week. A lot of my friends and former co-workers were on the Yard throughout the entire day and my heart goes out to each of them.

Mental illness is a huge issue in our world, and I just pray that anyone who is having any kind of issues seeks out help, and if that help is not as forthcoming as it should be, continue to pursue it.  If you have a loved one that you think is struggling, be open with them and encourage them to get the help they need.

This has been a long week.  I'm glad that I am now on vacation.  We usually go away right after Labor Day, because all the usual crowds are gone from the beach but everything is still open.  It got a little delayed this month, due to one thing or another.  But no matter, as long as we finally work a vacation in.  I don't really care about all the normal beach vacation activities.  We mostly ride bike, walk, and kayak.  And we can do that as long as the weather is cooperative.  Whenever and wherever we are on vacation, if it's for more than a few days, we try to get a place that has a full kitchen.  It makes it easier for us to stay on track with our clean eating lifestyle and, mostly, keeps the cost down.  Because, I am cheap like that!  So, for us, in most cases, being on vacation is not difficult when it comes to eating.   But we will also go out to eat some this week.  And I may even indulge in some not-so-clean treats.  Why not?!



This week's menu:

This stuff is epic!  And at the end of the week, if there are leftovers, this will become sandwiches!

Pasta Pomodoro
Easiest sauce in the world to make.  15 oz can of diced tomatoes plus 1/4 cup of pesto.  Voila!  Pour it over cooked pasta.  I have some chicken tenders that I cooked on Friday that I will pair with this for protein.

Chili
Always a go to because it's easy and has basic ingredients.  Pretty sure you can make this however you want.  Protein (I use grass fed ground beef), chopped onion, tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, and/or kidney beans, spices to taste!

Pizza
We stopped at Trader Joe's and picked up a fresh whole wheat crust.  Makes an awesome pizza!  I actually had some white flour crust recently and it was so boring compared to the whole wheat!

I am working on perfecting clean macaroons. There are some good recipes out there but the ones I have tried so far don't stick together as I would hope.  So there may be a coconut macaroon recipe in your future!  In the meantime, keep it clean!




Sunday, September 15, 2013

Easy-Peasy!

This just seems like it has been the craziest week, and I really don't know why.  But it's weeks like this that cause me to break out the simplest recipes I can find.  I really can't bring myself to get too crazy with cooking some nights. So this week you will see a collection of some of the easiest recipes I know.  But, you know, there is nothing wrong with keeping it simple.

PASTA POMODORO
This is so easy, it's ridiculous.  All you need is a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes and 1/4 cup of your favorite pesto.  Mix together and heat.  Serve over whatever kind of pasta you prefer.  You may want to add some grilled chicken for nice lean protein.

CHICKEN FINGERS WITH HONEY MUSTARD
Honey-mustard dressing served over chicken fingers cooked on the grill.  I will serve this with baked acorn squash.  I absolutely LOVE acorn squash and it is so easy to make!  Just cut the squash in half and clean out the seeds.  Lay each half face down on a baking sheet and cook for about 30 minutes at 350.  Squash is done when a fork can easily pierce the skin.  I then turn it over and put a pat of butter in it.  Acorn squash is the green one shaped similar to a giant acorn.

CHILI
A pound of ground beef (or whatever kind of protein you prefer), browned with half a chopped onion.  Then stir in a 15 oz can of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, a can of drained and rinsed black beans, and a can of drained and rinsed pinto beans.  You can use different beans if you prefer.  Mix in your favorite seasoning.  We often just use chili powder.  Heat through!

We have some other things going on this week that will not require us to cook much, so this is a short menu.  I hope it gives you some ideas for quick and easy, but tasty, foods for your own menu.

For a snack, though, here is a great graham cracker recipe.


Keep it clean!

Monday, September 2, 2013

SHARE THIS 3-INGREDIENT DESSERT... or not....

Every time I turn around I see yet another "super easy" recipe with "only 3 ingredients" or that is "super easy" on Facebook.  They tell you to "tag yourself so you have this recipe."  The problem is that 1 of those 3 ingredients is usually something like a cake mix... which to me equals about 15 ingredients all on its own!  I really just want to post... in all CAPS... STOP IT!  DON'T DO IT!  But I try to be really polite on Facebook and I know that some people can and want to eat that stuff.  So instead I have finally decided that the best way to combat that is to post this blog with some "super easy" recipes!  Some are 3 ingredients and some are more.  But none of them take long and all of them are awesome.  I am only posting those which I have personally tested so can attest to the ease and the flavor.

So HURRY!  TAG YOURSELF or SHARE THIS so you can keep these recipes handy!  :-)

First, though, have you ever made ice cream from frozen bananas?  If not, you are depriving yourself of an awesome treat.  You can essentially dress this recipe up any way you want, with pretty much any flavors you like.  You don't get a strong banana flavor, unless you make banana ice cream.  You can get a Yonana Maker, which is a pretty handy tool to have, or you can even do it in your food processor.  Every time you have some overripe bananas, just peel them, lay them out on a plate or cookie sheet and freeze.  Once they are frozen, throw them into an airtight container and keep them in the freezer until you are ready for them.  So easy to just take out as many bananas as you need.  I can even buy overripe bananas at the grocery store for a discounted price.  As long as the peels aren't slimy, I'm in!  (I am.. um... frugal like that!)

Banana Berry Ice Cream
2 bananas, frozen
1 oz. dark chocolate
3/4 cup frozen mixed berries

Whiz the ingredients together in your food processor or Yonanas maker.  Done.  Keep leftovers (if there are any!) in the freezer.

Mudslide Fudge Cookies (grain free)
Not very many ingredients, and you likely have them in your house.  Where it says raw honey, I actually just use whatever honey I have.  It's up to you whether the ingredients need to be organic.

Chunky Chocolate Cookies
Don't eat these right away.... allow them to set up after they come out of the oven so they aren't as crumbly.

Cinnamon Raisin Braids
These take a little more time, but mostly to give the dough time to raise.  The real ease comes when you make the dough and freeze some of it for use later!  I personally can't wait and have to make them all at once.  These are so good, your family will not know they are eating healthy!

Peach Cobbler!


MR's Famous Peach Cobbler
My husband truly makes the world's greatest peach cobbler.  Just because we changed to a clean eating lifestyle, was no reason to give it up!  I was eating, cleaned up or not!  When peach season rolled around this year, has attempted to clean it up.  And came up with TWO awesome wins!  You can follow the directions at the link, or you can sub 1/2 cup of honey for the coconut sugar.  Either way works just fine.  This stuff is especially good eaten warm with a little almond milk over it... or maybe make some banana berry ice cream (above) and serve it with it.  Also, you can throw in a handful of blueberries with the peaches!!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabars
I love larabars for a snack or a treat.  There are multiple ways to make them.  This recipe is a good one, but http://mywholefoodlife.com/ has lots of other ones too.  Check them out!

So now... do you really want to make a dessert that starts with a cake mix?!  Not when there are so many better options around!!!!  Go ahead, enjoy!!!!